From Peckham to Plymouth, wildflowers are thriving in urban areas as councils let the grass grow to create ‘managed messiness’ for wildlife to thrive
A patch of purple wildflowers springs out of Peckham Rye like a bruise. Elsewhere, strips of long grass quiver in the wind, breaking up the uniformity of well-cut grass. Poppies, red campion and meadowsweet are among spring’s colourful arrivals.
Since May, London’s Southwark council has mowed a third less grass than it normally does and these flowers sprouted by themselves from seeds that had lain dormant in the earth. It is the latest addition to Southwark council’s flower-rich grasslands that have been extended by seven hectares (17 acres) since 1994.